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SO, WHO ARE THESE CHARACTERS that call themselves 'Mines', anyway? A bunch of fatty old men who want to impress you with their art? A bunch of pretentious young wankers who want to bowl you over with their surgically precise instrumental pyrotechnics? Why don't they just get over themselves and change their name to 'The Mines', or even 'The Mimes', 'The Minds' or 'The Mayans' as many a clueless wonder has attempted to dub them? Truth is, they're not that old, but not that young. And though they're probably equal parts pretentious and farty, they're also awesome, and will mop the floor with any other band who tries to do the mid-'80s-arty-pop-meets-mid-'90s-indie thing. Not that there are any other bands trying to do this, which just makes Mines all the more awesome. In preparation for allowing your ass to be kicked by their new record (appropriately entitled Team: AWESOME), perhaps yon should acquaint yourself with the fellers in the band: Aaron Bolton, Ron Lewis, Chad Hanson, and Tim Holland. Make it happen!--Jeremy Schneyer

Who's all involved with Mines?

EL: Chad, Tim, Aaron and myself are primarily responsible for spirit-catching faerie whispering ghost-writing and the conjurance of primordial hellfire...respectively. We can levitate dollar bills with our guitars. It's unbelievable.

TH: Also involved are Clint Howard, Matthew Lesko, Guy Mann-Dude, Bushwick Bill ...

Your new record is a lot different than your 2002 release, The Way the Wind Whips the Water. What accounts for the shift in style?

RL: There was a rend in the Cosmic Envelope, the Mother Earth, she wept many rivers and the sacred talisman was captured. Dark days, friend ...

CH: That's so not how it went down.

RL: You're right, Long story short ... we were sent on a mystical quest to once again set things right, you know ... restore balance to life.

You're kind of an asshole.

RL: Whatever, fuck you,

Fuck me? You dick, where do you get off?

EL: What's the next question?

You never answered the last one.

CH: We wanted to write a more energetic record. At first the band was really minimal ... just Ron and myself. We added Aaron on drums and then recorded our first full length. Tim came in later, when we began writing more involved songs.

TH: I guess it's safe to say that we just decided that it was time to get more awesome.

RL: I've always been drawn to more upbeat music. The Police have been one of my favorite bands since I first heard 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' on the radio in like, 1981 or something. So that's where I naturally gravitate. I also went through a really big Elvis Costello phase in high school. They're sort of latent influences coming to the surface. Plus I'm pretty manic, so ...

Do you or did you skate?

CH: I skated and snowboarded so much when I was younger. It was all I thought about and wanted to do. I've tried skating some of the amazing bowls being built in the Northwest, but these days it hurts these old knees of mine.

TH: I think we all have pictures of ourselves in 1988 with the Hawk bangs to prove it. It wouldn't be incorrect to say that we've been known to "Gleam a Cube or two" in our day. Personally, I try to live in The Pus Zone.

RL: I was huge into skating from probably about 1985 to around 1992. When I was really young, my grandma lived a few blocks from the old Upland Pipeline. She would take me there to skate all the time. I used to see some really good old-school pool guys like Steve and Micke Alba there. In high school, my friends and I built this huge, rickety death-trap halfpipe in the woods behind our house. I think we skated it every single day after school for practically two years straight.

Has skating influenced the music you make?

TH: The impact of Skatemaster Tate and McRad on our music simply cannot be overstated.

RL: To be honest, it was Thrasher magazine that gave me my first exposure to punk rock and underground music and culture. In junior high and high school, I had limited exposure to anything remotely 'underground', so skate culture was my connection to this whole other world that was really authentic, gritty, rebellious and sort of scary to me at the time. Nothing was as awesome as having black fingers from reading the old newsprint issues of Thrasher cover-to-cover.

CH: Without skateboarding I would not have been introduced to so many things. My attitude and thoughts would be very different. I would not be into the music I'm into.

RL: Totally. I think it was about '86 or '87 my record ... or rather my tape collection went from Billy Idol and Huey Lewis to Black Flag, Minor Threat and Slayer almost overnight. I think that progression is common among people our age.
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Author:Goldthwaite, Malibar
Date:Jul 1, 2004
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